Mamata says ‘brazen anarchy’ in UP, BJP says it’s not Bengal

While stating that UP Police cannot “shrug off its responsibility” in the murder of gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf under police escort in Prayagraj, West Bengal BJP spokesperson on Sunday hit out at the ruling Trinamool Congress government in the state by invoking the 2014 murder of a man in Malda allegedly in the presence of police.

Speaking about Atiq Ahmed’s murder, BJP chief spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said: “It is definitely shocking that a gangster, history-sheeter, mafia, don with links to Lashkar-e-Taiba and ISIS… is killed. When this happened in the presence of police, then they (police) cannot shrug off their responsibility. No one is saying it is not shocking.”

“Let me remind you that in 2014, Sheikh Rahim of Illambazar (in Malda district) was dragged from his house, tied to a lamppost and stabbed multiple times in the presence of police because he had joined the BJP after leaving CPI(M). No one was punished for the crime that everyone witnessed. One Mohd Ali from Barasat was murdered in the presence of police for working for the BJP. Uttar Pradesh is not Bengal. Anyone committing a crime will not be spared,” the former MLA said.

The BJP leader’s comment came soon after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hit out at the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh over Atiq Ahmed’s killing under police escort on Saturday night, saying she was shocked by the “brazen anarchy and total collapse of law and order in Uttar Pradesh”. She tweeted, “It is shameful that perpetrators are now taking the law into their own hands, unfazed by the police and media presence. Such unlawful acts have no place in our constitutional democracy.”

In a sharp attack, TMC MP Mahua Moitra said: “The BJP has turned India into a mafia republic”. She tweeted, “Jungle Raj under BJP Yogi govt in UP. Its USP: Encounter killings, Bulldozer politics & patronising criminals. Enforce rule of law; apprehend perpetrators & punish them stringently.”

Moitra also said she could believe the BJP “got the shooting done” to “deflect attention” from repercussions of the Satyapal Malik interview in which he flagged lapses on part of the government in the lead-up to the Pulwama attack in 2019.

BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya countered Mamata’s attack on the Yogi Adityanath government, saying “brazen anarchy is in West Bengal”. “Your audacity to comment with a straight face is shocking! You, as CM of West Bengal, perhaps live under a rock, because if there is brazen anarchy and complete collapse of law and order in one state, without doubt, then it is West Bengal… So, focus on addressing the terrible situation back home.”

Left parties like CPI(M) and CPI-ML also slammed the UP government over the killings.

“The manner in which the two men were murdered in the presence of heavy police escort points towards official connivance. This must be seen in the background of the repeated spate of encounter killings which are nothing but extra judicial murders. The Adityanath government is directly responsible for this state of affairs,” the CPI(M) said.


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